Malta Individual Investor Program Review
To some, Malta is a small island in the Mediterranean with links to both Italy and the UK that looks like a fun place for a vacation. To others, Malta is the tiny island that withstood the onslaught of the Nazis in WW2 and received the George Cross. However, to us at Passport Reviewer, they are the proud owners of a very good and hugely popular CBI program!
Malta In A Nutshell
The Republic of Malta is a Southern European island nation which comprises six individual islands, located in the Mediterranean Sea, 80 km off the Italian coast. With a population of almost 450,000 – not including tourists – covering a combined surface area of 316 km2, Malta is unsurprisingly one of the most densely inhabited places on earth. Only three of Malta’s six islands are inhabited, and they are Malta, Gozo and Comino. The other Maltese islands are Cominotto, Filfla and St Paul’s Island.
Historically, Malta’s location has given it great strategic importance as a naval base. Among those who have ruled the island and used it primarily for that purpose have been the Romans, the Moors, the Normans, the Spanish, the French and most recently the British, who granted Malta its independence in 1964.
In 1974 Malta became a republic. It became a member of the European Union in 2004 and in 2008 became part of the Eurozone. Malta is one of only three EU nations that are also members of the British Commonwealth, the others being Cyprus and (for now) the UK. Malta is also a member of the Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, United Nations and World Trade Organization.
Malta is an extremely popular tourist destination, and despite its small size, more than 1.6 million tourists visit the islands every year, considerably swelling the population at any given time. As a result, Malta’s tourism infrastructure has been forced to expand dramatically in recent years, and there is now an abundance of high quality hotels, plus holiday apartments and villas, which has led to a growing concern among the locals of the gradual but relentless erosion of traditional housing.
- Official Languages: Maltese and English
- Capital City: Valletta
- Largest City: Birkirkara (Pop; 22,000)
- Surface Area: 316 km2
- Religion: Roman Catholic
- Population: 423,000
- Government: Unitary Parliamentary Republic
- Legal system: Mixed Legal System
- Currency: Euro
- GDP per capita: $37,297
- Climate: Mediterranean climate with very mild winters and warm to hot summers
Malta Investor Visa Program
In 2014 Malta became the latest European Union nation to unveil a Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program. Officially referred to as both the Malta Golden Passport and the Individual Investor Program (IIP), the program granted Maltese citizenship and a passport to foreign investors and their immediate families, providing they were prepared to show ties to the country, and that they possessed the necessary capital to make a specific financial investment in Malta.
The program has proved to be a great success, both for Malta and the investors it has helped. Unfortunately, the Maltese government has seen fit to put a cap on its IIP’s of 1,800, and as of August 2016, more than 1,100 of those had already been taken.
What Will Be Required From Applicants?
IIP applicants should be aware that the financial outlay for achieving Maltese citizenship will total around €1.2 million. They will also need to maintain their ownership of purchased Maltese real estate for a minimum of five years. Here is the breakdown of the Malta Individual Investor Visa Program:
Applicants must purchase real estate in Malta worth at least €350,000, (to be held for a minimum of five years) – OR;
Lease a residential property for five years with an annual rent of a minimum €16,000
In addition to the above, applicants must also make a financial contribution to the National Development and Social Fund. This amount comes to €650,000 for the main applicant, with added contributions per additional family member
Applicants must also make a €150,000 investment in Maltese bonds and stocks, and these must be held for a minimum of five years
Malta Investor Visa Program Benefits
The Maltese CBI program is one of the most successful and most respected in Europe. The creators of the IIP program seem to have achieved the perfect balance, and not only does it draw wealthy foreign investors from the Middle East and Asia into Malta as well as the E.U, it also forges a genuine link between these investors and Malta itself.
There are multiple reasons why an individual looking for a CBI program should choose Malta, here are just a handful:
The main applicant can include their spouse plus multiple family members on their application
The Malta passport is the 9th most powerful in the world, and has visa-free access to 168 countries around the world
Because of Malta’s EU status, Maltese citizens are free to live and work without time restrictions in any EU country
Maltese citizens are members of both the European Union and the British Commonwealth
Pros and Cons of Life in Malta
The Maltese economy is one of the strongest in Europe, and because everyone is earning money, there is a feel-good vibe among the locals. Couple that with the hordes of happy holiday makers, and you have a country which has almost cornered the market in positivity. Property prices are still relatively cheap, as is the cost of living.
Because of the inescapable lack of surface area, there will always be a sense of overcrowding and even claustrophobia, so if you are a person who needs freedom and space, living in Malta won’t be for you.
Passport Reviewer Ranking: A
Malta may be the comparative flyweight of the EU, but make no mistake, their CBI program packs a heavyweight punch. Malta retains high standards of honest governance, law, integrity and a strong sense of value, qualities it has inherited from its time under British rule, and as a result, a citizenship by investment program acquired by completion of their IIP program will be technically and legally bulletproof, and won’t just last a lifetime, it can be handed down from generation to generation. A truly excellent program.